Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Area - Arbeit Macht Frei CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.26 | 593 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Area are a band that could fit into RPI, Fusion or RIO/Avant equally. These guys were different to most Italian bands in the 1970s. The singing style of Demetrio Stratos can be an acquired taste. Sometimes singing melodically, other times yodelling or making weird sounds. He was the most famous member of the group, also playing keyboards and percussion. The sound of Area is a mix of fusion, avant-rock and Mediterranean elements. This band was very political in the 1970s. The album title refers to the sign at Auschwitz which translates as "work will make you free".

The first song "Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero)" you can listen to on PA. I think the title refers to the terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics in 1972. The song begins with a woman talking in Arabic. Then an echoed Demetrio starts singing, being joined by some organ. Then a Middle-Eastern sounding synth line enters as the band goes into some jazz-rock. The singing parts are almost symphonic. Alternates between the two parts. Later the tempo increases and then a free avant section. Near the end the song switches to a nice symphonic part with wordless vocals, organ, synth and cymbals. Goes back to the jazz-rock part with some symphonic organ to end it.

The title track begins with random noises on different instruments, including a mini drum solo and some bird and water sounds. After awhile a hi-hat pattern, a repetative bassline and flute start to dominate. Some percussion, synth and saxophone join in. Then it goes into jazz-rock territory with Rhodes and skronking sax. After 4 minutes changes to a rockin' groove. Almost 30 seconds or so later Demetrio starts singing. Great fusion playing near the end. "Consapevolezza" is very jazzy at first. Then switches to a great part with mostly guitar and synth. Goes into a groove and the vocals begin. I like the chord changes in this part. Some wah-organ and sax soloing in the middle. Goes back to the great vocal section.

"Le Labbra Del Tempo" has a jazzy intro, then some chorused guitar, sax and vocals. Then the full band comes in doing some kind of folky/jazzy rock. Nice echoed Rhodes at one point. After a bit of cacophony, there is some lovely synth and wind chimes along with vocals. Ends with some cool fusion playing. "240 Chilometri Da Smirne" is a good instrumental fusion track. "L'abbattimento Dello Zeppelin" starts with random noises on different instruments. Then a repeated guitar figure leads the band into some jazz-rock. Eventually some great rock guitar playing. In the middle goes into a freer, spacier section with vocals dominating. Later gets more cacaphonous. Nice synth at the end.

The last two songs bring the quality and consistency of the album down a notch. Still good songs, but not as good as what came before. This was the band's debut album, and the next one is a little bit more avant than this. The music here is some great Italian-style jazzy avant-rock. This will probably appeal more to fusion lovers and avant-prog fans than to your average RPI buff. But this is great if you are familiar with the more famous RPI groups and want to try something similar, but more adventurous. This is almost a masterpiece but not quite. I would give this 4.5 but will round down to 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this AREA review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives